Onyx Enterprise, Inc. (Onyx) is a certified woman- and minority-owned engineering and construction project management company headquartered in Detroit with offices in Cleveland and Atlanta, and has experienced significant growth in annual revenues over 15 years of operation. Onyx recently was selected as the Minority Construction Firm of the Year by the Minority Business Development Agency, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Onyx has a long history of working with the Michigan SBDC (MI-SBDC). The relationship began when Onyx took advantage of the SBDC FastTrac Program in 2010. Just two years later, MI-SBDC regional director Wendy Thomas assisted the company to get SBA 8(a) certification.
In 2015 founder Tarolyn Buckles completed the SBA Emerging Leaders Program where she began working with Dan Brophy, MI-SBDC Growth Team consultant. Since then, Brophy has helped Buckles adopt the MI-SBDC’s Focus Four small business management system. “Dan is a god-send, and we are grateful for how accessible he’s been to our team,” said Buckles.
So what does a successful entrepreneur such as Buckles do with her growing Onyx Enterprise, Inc, Buckles Real Estate Holdings, and an energy firm that will be launched this year? Why launch another firm, of course: A/E Collaborative, LLC.
Buckles and partner Karen Burton joined forces in 2019 to bring to market A/E Collaborative, a woman- and minority-owned firm that brings together top built environment professionals to combine their talents on projects to create innovative and cost-effective solutions for customers.
A/E Collaborative’s vision is to collaborate with and build world-class minority firms that can successfully bid on, participate in, and sponsor architecture and engineering for medium and large commercial construction projects.
The collaborative’s aim is to increase opportunities for underrepresented firms and professionals to successfully bid on and participate in medium and large commercial design, construction and real estate development projects, thereby empowering them and their communities economically.
“A/E Collaborative is the next logical step that compliments Onyx services in civil engineering and construction,” said Buckles. “AEC will mentor smaller firms to help them become ready to participate in projects to eventually become prime consultants. It’s our way of giving back.”